Egypt marked the top host economies in Africa during 2018, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
“Egypt remained the largest FDI recipient in Africa in 2018, although inflows decreased by 8 percent to $6.8 billion,” UNCTAD stated in a report.
The World Investment Report 2019 added that foreign investment in Egypt was skewed towards the oil and gas industry, as significant discoveries of offshore gas reserves attracted investments from MNEs, and the country became a net exporter of gas in January 2019.
It referred to British Petroleum Company that has increased its greenfield and merger and acquisition (M&A) investments in the country in the last two years, bringing the company’s investment stock in the country to more than $30 billion.
“Egypt signed at least 12 exploration and production agreements with international oil companies in 2018,” it said.
According to the report, some large foreign projects were announced in other sectors also, such as the $2 billion project of Nibulon (Ukraine) to upgrade Egypt’s grain storage infrastructure and the $1 billion project of Artaba Integrated Holding (Saudi Arabia) for the construction of a medical city.
“In addition, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group (China) signed an agreement to invest $830 million for the construction of a textile area in the Suez Canal Special Economic Zone (SEZ),” it added.
Generally, FDI flows to Africa rose to $46 billion, unlike the global downtrend, marking an 11 percent increase after successive declines in 2016 and 2017.
“Reduced FDI flows to some major economies of the continent, including Nigeria, Egypt, and Ethiopia, were offset by large increases in others, most significantly in South Africa,” it noted.
According to the report, growing demand for and prices of some commodities, as well as sustained non-resource-seeking investments in a few countries, were largely responsible for the higher FDI flows to the continent.